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Playing by Bob’s rules

THE International Crisis Group (ICG)’s recent report, Zimbabwe — an opposition strategy (August 24), regrettably advises that Zimbabweans should risk life and limb confronting President Robert Mugabe’s storm-troopers in peaceful demonstrations, because the international

community is otherwise unable to impose a real (non-rigged) election on Mugabe and on Zanu PF in 2008.

The ICG is recommending a strategy which has been tried and has been found not to work in the Zimbabwe context, for various reasons which are not necessary to discuss here.

With modern technology, it is now possible for the international community to run the next Zimbabwean election with minimal presence of foreigners and with a 100%-guaranteed non-rigged result.

Such an election will result in less than 20% of the vote for Zanu PF if Mugabe is still in power, and at best a 30% result if the most attractive or least-repellent non-Mugabe Zanu PF candidate is fielded.

Therefore the whole question of whether Mugabe is eased out as a presidential candidate or not becomes irrelevant — since with Mugabe in place an even greater overwhelmingly crushing defeat for Zanu PF is guaranteed.

Let Sadc, other African countries and leaders, South Africa, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the international community ensure that Zimbabwe’s next election is tamper-proof.

Since Mugabe is adamant that no Zanu PF or government cheating ever goes on in the elections which underpin his president-for-life strategy, then let him prove his critics and detractors wrong by winning a rig-free election and by soundly beating off opposition of all political colours. That will surely be of great advantage to Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

In fact, in order to reverse Zimbabwe’s present rapid economic decline, let Mugabe bring forward the 2008 election to 2007, with the caveat that a massive international economic rescue programme will  follow that election regardless of who wins. This would be truly a great triumph for the Zimbabwean people.

Alex Weir,

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